Zelalem Workagegnehu appears before Cessation Court next- must be freed

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8-11-2016

ጦማሪና የመብት ተሟጋቹ ባልደረባችን ዘላላም ወርቅዐገኘሁ ከታሰረ ዛሬ ስምንት መቶ ሃምሳ ሰባት ቀን ይሆነዋል። ከግንቦት ሰባት ግር በኢሜል ተገናኝቷል ተብሎ ተከሶ አምስት አመት ከሁለት ወር ተፈርዶበት አሁን ቃሊቲ እስር ቤት ይገኛል። ዘላለም ፍርዱን ይግባኝ ሲል ቆይቶ የሚቀጥለው ሳምንት የመጨረሻውን አካል የሰበር ሰሚ ችሎትን ወሳኔ ለመስማት ተቀጥሯል። ፍርዱ ይቀነስለታል ወይም ይፈታል ብለን እንጠብቃለን። ዘላለም እስኪፈታ ሰፋ ባለመልኩ የማስፈታት ትግሉን እንቀጥልበታለን።

በኢትዮጲያ ያለው አስተዳደር በቅርቡ መንግስትን ሊገለብጥ በደረሰው ፀረ መንግስት ተቃውሞ ላይ ተስተፈው ብዙ ንብረት አውድመዋል ያላቸውን ወጣቶች አስሮ መክሮ ሲለቅ እንደዘላለም ያሉ ወጣቶችን ግን በኢሜል ብቻ ተገናኙ በሚል ሰበብ ከ፭ አመት በላይ እስር ይፈርዳል።

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Co-blogger and activist Zelalem Workagegnehu today spends  857 days in Ethiopia’s Kaliti Prison out of his 5 years and two months jail sentence for an alleged link with Ginbot 7 Movement (Patriotic Ginbot 7).

Zelalem has been appealing the sentencing since May 2016 and has now reached the final level of the Cessation Court, which will deal with his appeal next week.

We expect that the Cessation Court would either free Zelalem or reduce his sentencing.

Our struggle for his release would, however, continue in a multifaceted and stronger manner until Zelalem and all prisoners of conscience in Ethiopia are released.

Zelalem was finishing his Masters Degree in Public Administration at the Addis Abeba University, in July 2014 when he was detained together with nine other opposition politicians, netizens, and activists.

The Court had acquitted  five of the defendants  in August 2015 and two more of Zelalem’s co-defendants on April 15, 2016 when it found Zelalem and two other co-defendants of Zelalem guilty of “supporting terror in any way.”

The movement he is accused of supporting is known as Ginbot 7 (Arebgenoch Ginbot 7 Movement), a pro-democracy movement founded by Professor Berhanu Nega, an Ethiopian economist, who lectured in Bucknell University, U.S.A. Zelalem was initially accused of being a member and local leader of Ginbot 7 although the charges were later changed to recruiting members to start an Arab Spring styled revolution in Ethiopia and applying for a digital security course.

PEN International started a Call for Action for Zelalem Workagegnehu in June this year through its Rapid Action Network. Everyone is asked to go to PEN’s WEBSITE and post the letter to the named officials and embassies across the world.